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Fiction Review   

 
 
To Yield A Dream
By Oxford Stroud
New South Books, 2002
ISBN: 1-58838-009-8

 

 
 

Long before his death in March, Alabama writers and critics, were in awe of Oxford Stroud. Wayne Greenhaw in his essay "Learning to Swim," (from The Remembered Gate, University of Alabama Press, edited by Lamar and Thompson) wrote, "... he ruled our universe. We devoted more thought, speculation, legend-making, worship, and fear to this god of our creative writing world than any other person, subject, or theme of our lives." 

To Yield A Dream, published posthumously, is a coming of age story told in triptych. Seventeen year old Jody has just graduated at the head of the class despite having "enough demerits to warrant a stockade." 

Feeling "freed at last from the academy!" he has to assume the responsibility of accompanying his mother's body home. His grandfather, The Admiral, has enlisted a ferry to transport his daughter's body. An aviatrix and opera singer, her plane crashed on the way to Albuquerque. 

Filled with fanciful characters and battlefield metaphors, To Yield A Dream will earn the author a new legion of readers. 

Oxford Stroud grew up in Camden, Alabama. During World War II, he left Wilcox County to serve in the Eighth Air Force in England. During his tour of duty, he spent some time at Oxford University. 

Upon returning to America, he worked with a logging company in the state of Washington before moving back to his home state. He taught English Literature at Auburn University for thirty years. 

Harcourt Brace Jovanich published Stroud's first novel, Marbles, and selected it as the inaugural novel in their Harvest American Series. He's also the author of Writing Prose that Makes a Difference.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews
 

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